50 years of textile stories
There used to be over 350 working mills in Bradford. In the last 50 years most of them have closed and today there are less than 20. The rest have been demolished or repurposed. Many have tragically burnt down. Bradford’s great textile buildings and the people who worked in them are slowly disappearing.
Are you Bradford based and interested in writing for live performance?
Wordsmithery is a new writing competition developed by 509 Arts with Kala Sangam, Bradford Producing Hub and Mind the Gap. If you are a Bradford resident aged 16+ and want to write for live performance (not film or TV) Wordsmithery could be for you.
A secular fable of death and what comes after…
Broken Biscuits is a new folk tale written by Alan Dix that tells a tale of what happens when we die. Narrated by Irna Qureshi, founder of the Bradford Literature Festival, and illustrated by Sandra McCracken, Broken Biscuits tells of a funny, moving and accessible world where the search for truth about life after death is told through biscuits….
Al Dix (@mrshipley) is 70 years old. In 2029 he will be 80. By then things will be different. Brexit will have come and gone. We may or may not have faced up to the challenge of climate change.
Bradford Revealed is an online gallery of the special objects, places and things that make our lives different. Every one of pictures has been submitted by people with a connection to Bradford.
On Reflection explores the relationship between things remembered, the passage of time and events that have shaped the world we live in. It is an interactive installation that grows and evolves, with visitors adding their unique contributions during each iteration Find out more…
Staying Alive was at the Theatre in the Mill, Bradford in May 2023, Alan Dix and Professor Anne Graham from Bradford University explored the science and art of staying alive.
Alan is 75 and is creatively exploring the lived experience of his journey towards his eighth decade. Anne is a scientist who knows a lot about the theories of healthy ageing.
Adapted from a children’s book by Ivor Cutler, a magical family show filled with music, songs, dance, breathtaking projections and augmented reality surprises. Coproduced with Hull Truck Theatre, supported by Mind The Gap.
This Ole Heart
Landlines & Watermarks
A valley-wide creative response to the devastating Calderdale floods of Boxing Day 2015 and the extraordinary community responses that followed. Commissioned by Calderdale Council and the CFC, it included Calderland – winner of a 2018 Royal Philharmonic Society Award. Find out more…
It’s a small world.
What do we do when no-one is listening? When you are forgotten, unheard and drowned out?
Join the small world demonstration! Make yourself heard!
The Batley Variations
Acommunity opera set in a spectacular cabaret environment, that told the inside story of a Northern town. A showcase of local talent, it drew from a rich palette: local heroes and eccentrics, the famous and infamous, the unassuming and extraordinary, iconic spaces and hidden places. Find out more…
Transitions was a year long programme of workshops, discussions and mentoring aimed at developing the creative capacity of the Calder Valley. A legacy of 509 Arts’ 2017 project Landline & Watermarks, it supported arts organisations, artists and people working with the communities of Calderdale. Find out more…
A partnership project with The National Trust at Hardcastle Crags where we are associate artists. In Autumn 2020 we worked together to stage Footfall, a processional dusk walk and woodland ceremony (with yodelling). In 2021 we told the 20th century story of a valley saved from drowning. Find out more…
Sing & Louder Sing
A music theatre piece and a book about men, ageing and mortality. It was commissioned by Bradford University and Theatre in the Mill, as part of their celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the University.
Coming of age
Bike Story was one of the major commissions of the 2014 Yorkshire Festival. Inspired by stories from the public, the production celebrated our love affair with the bicycle and toured to 13 outdoor locations across Yorkshire ahead of the Grand Depart of the Tour de France. Find out more...
My Last Car
My Last Car was an epic road trip that looked at our complex relationship with the car through a series of poignant, funny and uplifting tales. Our voyage was part exhibition, part live performance and part community celebration. It explored all that the car means to us at the end of a great transport era.